Fabric Marker Review: Crayola Vs. ‘Stained’ Sharpies
At the outset I will tell you that both ‘Stained’ Sharpies and ‘Crayola Fabric Fine Line Markers’ are good pens and do what they say they will do.. Permanently colour fabric.
My first set of fabric markers were the ‘Stained’ Sharpies which I brought to colour my ‘Bird’ (yes you can buy it 🙂 ) colouring cushion on a long, tedious flight from Australia to France. I loved the pastel colours but was slightly disappointed when they faded a bit on drying. In terms of the range of colours from the ‘Stained’ 8 pack set, (I could always use a few more colours) but most noticeably absent was light blue, I really missed that. My ‘Crayola’ fabric marker set had your standard range of colours and are more dense, less transparent than ‘Stained’ as you can see in the pics below.
The Sharpies crew seem to have really pushed their research and development because what is fantastic about ‘Stained’ Sharpies is that they don’t need to be ironed over and they seem to wash well. Also they don’t run or bleed (very much.. red did a little and any brand of markers tend to run more when there is extreme humidity but thats understandable). With Crayola markers you do need to iron for a few minutes before their first wash but thats not very hard :). I haven’t experienced any running from Crayola pens at all, however with some colours you might need to apply the colour twice, particularly with our old friend light blue!
Regarding the application of colour, Sharpie again has done its research creating a smooth almost brush like tip which gets into the corners of the finest details. The fine, soft tip is a pleasure to use, it makes texturing and shading easier. Conversely, the so called ‘Fine Liner’ of Crayola has a bit of a stubby tip and feels a little dry on application, I almost want to lick the tip as we used to do in primary school when the pens began to run out.
The soft tip and light, almost transparent, colour tones of the Sharpies makes blending (fabric they are easy to layer which of course extends your range of colours considerably) and layering a breeze. Layering colours with Crayola creates good effect but blending colours through shading is a bit more work because of the thicker lines.
Finally price! An 8 pack of ‘Stained’ Sharpies on average comes in at $17 and they are easy to find online and in shops (Office Works Sometimes and Big W in Australia). Crayola is cheaper averaging $13 online, I haven’t found an offline outlet yet.
As I have the luxury spending a bit of money on pens (my favourite business expense) I find that it is perfect to have both sets of pens, I have a great range of colours and different transparency is fun to play around with. If your out shopping you really can’t go wrong with either set, accept if you are doing super fine work in which case I recommend ‘Stained’. Do watch the weather though as humidity can cause problems with fabric markers. Markers that I have received complaints about bleeding (and also going thought the back of the fabric) are ‘Tgey’ markers, avoid this brand. The colouring cushions featured in the photos can be purchased in our online ‘Shop’ as can the ‘Crayola Fabric Fine Line Markers.’